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Best Solution to Resize FAT32 Partition Without Losing Data

Updated by Daisy on Nov 24, 2022
Written by Cici

FAT32 is a file system derived from the File Allocation Table. Compared to the default NTFS file system of Windows, FAT32 has a high degree of compatibility. When you run out of space on one FAT32 partition and have plenty of room left on another, you may want to resize that FAT32 partition to use the space capacity better.

But when you are trying to resize the FAT32 partition with Disk Management, you may also encounter a problem like the following situation: 

It's a 1 TB disk with about one FAT32 partition, 730GB big. The remainder is unallocated space which I would like to add to the FAT32 partition. I just realized I couldn't extend FAT32 partitions on Windows 10 and wondered why not. - from Reddit

Don't worry. In this passage, we will help you figure out why you can't extend or shrink FAT32 on Windows and offer reliable software to help you easily resize the FAT32 partition without losing data.

Why Can't Resize FAT32 Partition in Disk Management 

When you are trying to extend the FAT32 partition or shrink the FAT32 partition in Disk Management, you may find the extend volume greyed out, and can't shrink volume.

extend and shrink volume greyed out

This is due to the limitation of the Windows built-in tool. The following reasons will lead you to be unable to resize the FAT32 partition in Disk Management:

  • The wrong file system format: Disk Management doesn't support shrinking FAT32 volume.
  • The unallocated space does not exist on the target partition's right side. 
  • The FAT32 size limit: Windows support FAT32 capacity less than or equal to 32GB.
  • There does not exist enough space to shrink the partition.

So, if you want to resize the FAT32 partition, you need to convert FAT32 to NTFS. It is a little troublesome, and you may lose data during this process. I will not recommend this solution. You can use professional third-party software – EaseUS Partition Master Free to shrink or extend the FAT32 partition without losing data.

Notice:
Diskapart Command also will not support the FAT32 partition. If you use it to shrink the FAT32 partition, you will receive the error message: "You may not shrink OEM, ESP, recovery partitions, or offline volumes." So, you need to turn to EaseUS Partition Master.

How to Resize FAT32 Partition Without Losing Data

EaseUS Partition Master Free is a free but professional disk management tool. It can be operated on Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows XP. It has a clear interface that allows you to create, delete, shrink or extend partitions easily. 

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Even if you are a beginner to the computer, you can know how to resize the FAT32 partitions with EaseUS Partition Master. Follow the steps below to extend or shrink the FAT32 partition without losing data.

Guide 1. Shrink FAT32 Partition 

Step 1: Locate and select target partition to shrink

Go to the Partition Manager section, right-click on the partition that you want to shrink and select "Resize/Move".

Step 2: Adjust to shrink partition

Use your mouse to drag the end of the target partition to shrink partition space.

You can also adjust the partition size box to shrink the target partition. Once done, click "OK" to continue.

Step 3: Execute operation

Click the "Execute Task" button and "Apply" to keep all changes.

Guide 2. Extend FAT32 Partition

Step 1. Shrink partition to free up space to extend partition.

If the hard drive has enough unallocated space to extend the target partition, jump to Step 2, and continue. If not, free up space first:

  • At the Partition Manager section, right-click on a partition next to the target partition and select "Resize/Move".
  • Drag the partition ends to free up space, leaving enough unallocated space behind the target partition, click "OK".
free up disk space to get unallocated space

Step 2. Extend the target partition.

Right-click on the target partition you want to extend and select "Resize/Move".

extend partition -1

Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition.

extend partition -2

Step 3. Keep all changes.

Click the "Execute Task" button and click "Apply" to keep all changes.

extend partition -3

What Else Can EaseUS Partition Master Do

From the above steps, it is straightforward to resize the FAT32 partition. EaseUS Partition Master can help you solve more problems with disk partition. For example, it can 

EaseUS Partition Master can solve many partition problems. So you can download it to manage your disk better.

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Conclusion 

Disk Management and Diskpart are unable to resize the FAT32 partition. However, you can use EaseUS Partition Master to easily resize the FAT32 partition without losing data. The "Resize/Move" function can extend or shrink the FAT32 partition. 

EaseUS Partition Master can break the limitation of Windows built-in tools and meet more needs. This software will not disappoint you. Besides, there are three frequently asked questions about the FAT32 partition. 

FAQs About Resize FAT32 Partition

1. Can you extend the FAT32 partition?

If you want to extend the FAT32 partition via Disk Management or Diskpart, you will find the "extend volume" greyed out. You can convert the FAT32 format to NTFS to use Disk Management to extend the FAT32 partition. Otherwise, you need to try third-party software.

2. How to extend the FAT32 partition?

You will not be allowed to extend the FAT32 partition with Disk Management or Diskpart in Windows. Because Windows built-in tools only support the NTFS partitions. However, you can trust the professional third-party tool: EaseUS Partition Master. You can use the "Resize/Move" or "Extend/Shrink" function to easily extend the FAT32 partition. Follow the three steps to extend the FAT32 partition:

Step 1. Right-click the FAT32 partition and select "Extend/Shrink."

Step 2. Drag the partition panel to extend the FAT32 partition and click "OK."

Step 3. Execute the extend FAT32 partition task and click "Apply."

3. Can you partition a FAT32 drive?

Of course, you can partition a FAT32 drive on Windows. You can use EaseUS Partition Master and the Windows built-in tools: Disk Management and Diskpart command to create a FAT32 partition on a hard drive. Follow the step below to create a FAT32 partition via Disk Management:

Step 1. Press "Windows+R" and type "diskmgmt.msc".

Step 2. Choose the drive you want to use, right-click it, and select "New Simple Volume."

Step 3. Follow the instructions, select "FAT32" as the file system format, and click "Finish."

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About the Author

Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

Read full bio

Written by Cici

Cici has accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS. Now she has a detailed understanding of common computer issues, as well as computer backups and disk formatting management solutions.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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